Pizzeria owner running against one of Toronto’s most disliked councillors in upcoming election

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Pizzeria owner running against one of Toronto's most disliked councillors in upcoming election

Dino Ari, owner of a pizzeria called Dino’s Pizza in Toronto, recently decided to run for city councilor against Mark Grimes in the upcoming municipal election for the Etobicoke-Lakeshore community.

On Monday, the first day candidates could register for the Oct. 24 election, Ari posted a video online declaring that he would be running for city council in the municipalities of Mimico, Etobicoke and Lakeshore.

Dino for City Council @blogTO @TorontoStar @joe_warmington @CHogathPC @TorontoTurkCons @hamdiulukaya pic.twitter.com/3ct7CgwNEH

— dinospizzatoronto (@dinos_pizza_ca) May 2, 2022

Ari has made a name for himself in recent years for giving away pizza to those in need and donating over 1,000 pies to hospitals and homeless shelters.

He’s passionate about supporting local businesses, having seen their struggles during lockdown firsthand, and wants to be the voice that supports them.

“I listen to people and I know what they’re dealing with,” Ari told blogTO.

“I go [directly] to them and ask what they need. For example, I study traffic right where my shop is. It’s very dangerous. I’ve spoken to Mark Grimes and other councilors about it, but they haven’t done anything. Do you know how many accidents happen in front of our store?”

Grimes is a somewhat controversial and unpopular figure in Toronto, although there’s no denying that he has his supporters in the community, having held a seat on the council since 2003.

He is also accused of dirty campaign tricks, conflicts of interest and misconduct.

Ari is leading the way and wants to inspire younger generations and immigrants to have courage and get more involved in business and politics by leading by example as a small business owner.

“Whether I win or not is not the point,” Ari said. “I want to show [newcomers and young children] that if I can do it today, so can they. And they’ll probably do even better – if I succeed in my business as a pizza maker, they can do even more.”